Police forces have recorded twice the number of reports of missing children in Quebec this year than they did 5 years ago.
The annual report of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shows a fourth consecutive decline in the number of missing children on our lands. That number rose from 7,056 five years ago to 3,456 in 2021.
It should be noted that 67% of young people were found in the country in the first hours following the report, while 92% were monitored in the first week.
For the general manager of Réseau Enfants-Retour, the only nonprofit organization in Quebec that accompanies loved ones of a missing child, Pina Arcamon, these statistics are encouraging, though still not enough.
“We agree that 3,000 disappearances is still a very large number. The battle is not over yet, we must focus on the importance of educating our youth.”me Arkamon.
A picture of what his sister might look like today.
According to her, this fall is due to the increased awareness of the population about this issue. There is also the pandemic that has led to school closures, confinement and remote work.
Hoping to maintain this decline, the Missing Children Network is organizing an awareness campaign in schools, community centers and day care centers aimed at better “equipping” parents and their young children.
As part of Missing Children Month in May, the organization will highlight an unsolved disappearance case in Quebec, through social networks. “People are being asked to share kidnapping notices and leave a message of sympathy for the families who are still waiting for a solution,” the general manager outlines.
After raising more than $25,000 last year to help families in need, this year the Missing Children Network will attempt to raise $10,000 which will be redistributed.
“We want to make noise to find the missing children, but also to protect our youth from the bad guys.”
Most families never give up, even after decades of disappearance. This is the case of Adolphe Carrier, whose younger sister Diane disappeared in 1963 at the age of 6.
On Friday, September 27, 1963, at dinner, seven-year-old Adolphe Carrier returned from an evening in the park with friends. When he arrives home in the old port of Quebec, his mother asks him where his little sister went to look for him.
Worriedly, the boy quickly returns outside to try to find her. Nearly 60 years later, he’s still looking for Diane.
“The hardest thing, even today, is trust. When your dad tells you you’re good for nothing throughout your childhood, at some point it’s definitely going through your head,” admits Adolphe Carrier.
To put a balm on this guilt that has haunted him for so long, the one who now lives in La Dore, in Lac-Saint-Jean, wants people to take a moment to analyze his sister’s physical appearance, in case they know a similar-looking woman.
“It only takes one person to make a difference,” he recalls.
An easy tip to remember
The Missing Children Network offers easy-to-follow advice for families. Pina Arcamone recommends that parents set up a password system with trusted adults around them.
In this way, the young man will be able to put the secret code to the person who is trying to approach him, and if he cannot answer correctly, the child will understand that he must get away as soon as possible.
Mr. Carrier believes that small gestures can make a difference, adding at the same time that unfortunately, this type of drama “doesn’t just happen to others”.
Number of children reported missing in Quebec
- 2017: 7025
- 2018: 5927
- 2019: 5805
- 2020: 3831
- 2021: 3456
Young quickly found
59% Among the cases of disappearances are related to girls
67% Children found in the early hours, 92% In the first week
Close 80% Some of the cases of disappearance include runaway children
Source: National Center for Missing and Unidentified Remains (CNPDRN)